The Bad Boys of Ballet, a troupe of male dancers led by a solo female dancer, choreographer Adrienne Canterna, have made it to the America’s Got Talent semi-finals after all, thanks to a post-elimination save by judge Mel B.
The Maryland Gazette said the Gambrills-based group, which fuses classical ballet with hip-hop, jazz, and acrobatics, got word from celebrity judge Mel B just minutes after being eliminated last Wednesday night that she was using her judges’ “save” for the act.
“We screamed and cried,” Canterna said. “We were seriously over the moon, because it was just minutes after we got cut. She said she loved our act so much because we brought ballet to a new audience.”
Thanks to Mel B, they will dance again live tomorrow (August 26) in the hope of advancing toward the finals and the ultimate prize of $1 million.
“It has been such a roller coaster of emotions. We were so high from our performance and then so low after being eliminated,” said Canterna, who added that she and the six male dancers that make up the Bad Boys were a little surprised to be voted off because of the standing ovations they received from Mel B and judge Heidi Klum after their last performance.
To see the original story, visit http://www.capitalgazette.com/maryland_gazette/news/ph-ac-cn-bad-boys-back-0822-20140821,0,5661134.story.
A little more than a year ago, the Saint Paul [MN] Ballet company and school faced debt and considered cutting back on performances and even closing its doors. It reorganized as an artist-led organization, with dancers taking on administrative roles.
Heading into the 2014–15 season, it looks like the dancers’ dedication has paid off.
TwinCities.com—St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the company has expanded to nine professional dancers, plus five in training. More than 120 children and adults take classes every week and the school hopes to almost double enrollment with a second studio opening in September at 655 Fairview Avenue North, just north of University. The public is invited to learn more during an open house on Saturday.
“We hope that we can grow and we can have a company of 20 dancers,” says dancer and artistic director Zoe Henrot. “Our goal is to become a major landmark for ballet—for ballet training and performance and ballet for fun.”
The company recently landed a $38,000 state arts board operating grant to help pay guest choreographers and fund collaborations with artists such as local photographer Caroline Yang, who has been documenting performances, rehearsals, and backstage moments over the last nine months (www.instagram.com/carolineyangphoto).
The flexibility of being an artist-led organization has also brought some unusual and creative initiatives. Last spring, the company launched a “Take Back the Tutu” public awareness campaign around the issues of food disorders and body image. This fall, the ballet will offer a monthly lecture series focused on healthy dancing with talks from health providers and dancers.
While the Twin Cities does not have a large professional ballet company, it boasts a handful of small ones, including the nationally respected James Sewell Ballet based at Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in downtown Minneapolis. Other small companies are affiliated with schools, including Minnesota Dance Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota Ballet in downtown St. Paul, and Continental Ballet in Bloomington.
To read more, visit http://www.twincities.com/stage/ci_26374036/st-paul-ballet-growin-by-small-leaps.
Employees of the JW Marriott chain of luxury hotel properties will be learning how to improve their own performance from an organization that knows performance inside and out—the Joffrey Ballet.
The Chicago Business Journal reported that JW Marriott is expected to formally announce next week a new program called “Poise and Grace,” a service training program for JW Marriott staff that is based on the rigorous practice techniques used by ballet dancers.
The Chicago-based Joffrey dancers and artistic director Ashley Wheater are featured in four new videos that address different aspects of proper service techniques that JW Marriott wants to impress upon its staff so they can impress hotel guests.
In the videos, Wheater talks about the value of warm-up exercises, proper breathing, flow of movement, and—perhaps most important—connecting to the audience, a technique that is essential in the performing arts and apparently one that JW Marriott Hotels executives want to impress upon their staff.
In the video about connecting with an audience, Wheater discusses the importance of eye contact, use of specific gestures, and a performer’s crucial need to own his or her specific air of confidence and discipline.
JW Marriott Hotels plans to use the videos to develop and train staff at 64 of its properties in 26 countries worldwide. To see the original story, visit http://www.bizjournals.com/chicago/news/2014/08/20/j-marriott-turns-to-joffrey-ballet-to-elevate.html.
New Line Cinema has optioned the inspirational true story of ballet prodigy Misty Copeland, who fought against the odds to become only the second African American female soloist to dance with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, reported Deadline.
Adam Shankman (director/choreographer of the musical films Hairspray, Rock of Ages) and his sister, Jennifer Gibgot (the Step Up franchise), alongside Phil Sandhaus, will produce the feature film, to be adapted from Copeland’s bestselling memoir, Life In Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina.
The film will focus on Copeland from age 13, when she began ballet training at the local Boys & Girls Club while living in a welfare motel with her mother and siblings, through her years living part-time with a sponsor family while attending dance school, and the bitter custody battle that broke out between her mother and her host family as her ballet career skyrocketed.
Filmmakers will be searching for a multi-talented young performer with dance training to play Copeland. The project also has meaty roles for two actresses to play Copeland’s mother and mentor.
Copeland, who will work with producers as a consultant, has performed with Prince at Madison Square Garden, serves on President Obama’s fitness council, and appeared as a guest judge this season on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance. Next month she will make history again as the first African American ballerina to dance the lead in ABT’s Swan Lake. Her memoir, which she co-wrote with author Charisse Jones, burned up the New York Times’ bestseller list after hitting shelves in March.
To see the original story, visit http://deadline.com/2014/08/misty-copeland-life-in-motion-new-line-movie-biopic-819569/.
The Joffrey Ballet is holding an “open” rehearsal today for its upcoming production of Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake, and balletomanes around the country are welcome to attend.
For the first time in the company’s history, the Joffrey will be live streaming a rehearsal today, August 21, from 11:30am to 3pm, via its online YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/TheJoffreyBallet).
During the rehearsal, Wheeldon will coach the dancers as they work on his reimagined version of the ballet classic, which sets the story in the 19th century and follows a young boy, Siegfried, who daydreams of escaping his own Swan Lake rehearsals, thus positioning the story as a ballet within a ballet. Joffrey artistic director Ashley Wheater will serve as host and moderator for viewers, introducing Wheeldon and conducting brief interviews with Wheeldon and lead dancers during periodic rehearsal breaks.
The Joffrey premiere of Wheeldon’s Swan Lake, set for October 15 to 26 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago, represents the first time The Joffrey Ballet has ever presented any version of Swan Lake in its almost 60-year history. The $1.5 million production features opulent costumes by Jean-Marc Puissant, scenic design by Adrianne Lobel, and music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
For more information, visit www.joffrey.org.
According to Flanders Today, the Royal Ballet of Flanders has ended its contract with artistic director Assis Carreiro, the organization announced last week. In a short statement, the now merged ballet and opera said performances would continue as programmed.
“We have all it takes to continue on our path to represent classical ballet in all its forms and possibilities in Flanders and abroad,” said general manager Lena De Meerleer.
Hired in 2012, Carreiro was a controversial choice for the role of artistic director. She had little dance experience, unions complained, and mainly worked in coordinating roles. “She let it be known that she will not be attending rehearsals or auditions herself, but will bring in assistants and consultants to support her in those activities,” Servais Le Compte of union ACV-Transcom Cultuur told De Standaard in 2012. “But judging dancers is by far one of the most important jobs of an artistic director.”
Over the last two years, the company has toured far less, giving dancers fewer opportunities to perform, and the level of physical conditioning decreased, with injuries suffered routinely by dancers taking longer to heal. A dossier was put together containing “dozens” of complaints to be submitted to the committee charged with accident prevention and protection in the workplace.
Dancers wrote a letter to the organization’s board late last year citing that 69% of them had voted no confidence in the artistic director. Eventually, one-third of the company left—15 dancers out of 45, including some of the more prominent names. The ballet will name a successor as quickly as possible, the statement said.
To see the original story, visit http://www.flanderstoday.eu/art/royal-ballet-flanders-parts-company-assis-carreiro.
Free dance performances, classes, and demonstrations will take center stage during Kansas City Ballet’s fourth annual KC Dance Day at the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity on August 23 from 9am to 6:30pm.
Artistic director Devon Carney said about 2,000 area residents of all ages are expected to enjoy the day, which will include dance performances by local companies, plus an open rehearsal by Kansas City Ballet and the KCB second company and trainees, with a sneak peek of the ballet’s upcoming production of Alice (In Wonderland).
More than 20 dance and movement classes open to the public include creative movement and pre-ballet for ages 3 to 8, ballet for ages 8 to 11, and Zumba, Pilates mat, hip-hop, jazz, modern, ballet, tap, and yoga for ages 12 and up.
World dance classes appropriate for all ages will include Hawaiian, Irish step, Spanish, West African, Mexican, and Chinese.
Doors open at 8:30am, with classes running from 9:15 to 4:45pm. Registration for free classes is available online. For more information, visit www.kcballet.org.
New York City Ballet’s annual Fall Gala will once again celebrate ballet and fashion, with costumes by an international roster of some of the fashion world’s most renowned talents.
Broadway World said designers Thom Browne, Sarah Burton, Valentino Garavani, Carolina Herrera, and Mary Katrantzou will provide the stylish dancewear, while NYCB dancers present world premieres by choreographers Justin Peck, Liam Scarlett, and Troy Schumacher, as well as existing works by Peter Martins and Christopher Wheeldon.
The gala evening will take place September 23 at New York City Ballet’s home at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the David H. Koch Theater, and will launch NYCB’s four-week Fall Season, which will run from September 23 through October 19. All five ballets on the September 23 gala evening will also be performed October 2, 7, 9, and 11.
Actress, producer, and philanthropist Sarah Jessica Parker, vice-chair of the NYCB board of directors and who has been instrumental in bringing together the worlds of ballet and fashion for the special gala evening at NYCB, will serve as a chairman for the event for the third consecutive year.
To see the full story, visit http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwdance/article/New-York-City-Ballets-2014-Fall-Gala-to-be-Held-923-20140804#.U-Djb890yUk.
Walking into a ballet class, you expect certain things. Plenty of pliés and pirouettes, perhaps an instructor calling out moves or clapping in time with the music. What you don’t expect is the overwhelming smell of chlorine, says the Wisconsin State Journal.
At the Madison Contemporary Vision Dance summer intensive program in July, dancers took a break from their traditional ballet classes and worked on their technique in the pool. “It gives them a different perspective and helps them focus on what muscles they should be activating while they’re in certain moves to make them more graceful,” said instructor Allison Kenison.
Artistic director Sara Willcutt said her program is unique to their school. “There are some swim clubs that offer (what they call) water ballet classes, but that is more like synchronized swimming,” Willcutt said.
Willcutt developed the classes by chance during her pregnancy. “I was amazed by how I was able to move in the water,” Willcutt said. “I could really move, even though it was hard for me to dance at that point in my pregnancy. I thought it would be a great way to teach ballet movements.”
Kenison explained that resistance created by the water slows and controls the dancers’ movements, giving them more time to think about how they should position their arms, the degree to which they need arch their back, or if their toes are pointed. She said it also makes dancers more aware of the muscles they’re engaging in each move. “We’re trying to teach them to relate what they do in the water with what they do out of it,” Kenison said.
“If we slow it down like this, we can think more about the transitions in our movements, which helps us be better artists,” Kenison said. “It allows for more time to melt into the next move and smooth out the movement.”
Founder of the arts website Ballet to the People, Carla Escoda, reports in the Huffington Post that four dance artists have employed the much maligned Google Glass to create dance video that can, for the first time, integrate what the dancer sees into the work that she is performing. Google Glass can also send text and audio instructions to the dancer via the tiny prism display on her forehead; and can send her visual inspiration, or deliberately disrupt her concentration.
In June 2013, Google launched a competition on Twitter soliciting bids from people interested in beta-testing its latest foray into wearable high tech. The winners—known as Glass Explorers—ponied up $1,500 for the privilege of membership in a highly exclusive club of early adopters.
But many have expressed outrage over perceived invasion of privacy, and Google and other tech firms have become a symbol of corporate greed.
Google, in part to mitigate the negative response, recently bestowed grants on five non-profits who will use Glass in their community outreach, including Mark Morris Dance Group, which will incorporate the use of Glass in their work with Parkinson’s patients.
Amid the swirl of controversy surrounding Glass, Ballet to the People assembled four of the hottest young dance-makers in the San Francisco Bay Area to experiment with the technology.
At the heart of the groundbreaking experimental film, titled Capture, Milissa Payne Bradley pays sly homage to the iconic Russian classic Swan Lake, using Glass as a magical tool that transforms sea birds into young women trapped on the beach.
Dexandro “D” Montalvo collaborated with his dancer, Babatunji Johnson, to convey the experience of dance from the eyes of a dancer, and the evolution of breakdance from gestures that implicitly mark out a dancer’s social identity.
Lauren Benjamin worked in the movement style of House Dance, whose freedom, positive energy and playful spirit to her evokes the qualities that children naturally bring to their exploration of the world.
Robert Dekkers plays with the notion that we use technology to hide, to craft and project an image of ourselves. His dancers wear Glass to signify a partial revealing (and concealing) of one’s genuine self.
To read the original story and to view the video, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carla-escoda/dances-with-google-glass_b_5663708.html.
Salt Lake City’s Ballet West will celebrate the grand opening of its new Ballet West Academy at Thanksgiving Point with a week of free children and adult classes August 18 to 22.
Available classes will include contemporary plus many levels of ballet from Dance Discovery (age 3) and pre-ballet (age 4) to advanced level 7. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is also planned for August 22.
The program at Ballet West Academy at Thanksgiving Point will feature a classical ballet focus under the direction of former company dancer Jennie Creer-King, and offer children the opportunity to dance in professional performances throughout a full season.
“It’s such an exciting time for growth and expansion for Ballet West, and we’re thrilled for this opportunity to serve an even larger community with this new Academy location,” said Ballet West executive director Scott Altman. “There is such a passion for the arts in Utah County, and we’re honored to bring renowned Ballet West training to children and adults alike.”
Ballet West Academy attracts more than 550 students every year. Last year’s students came from 37 states and 2 foreign countries. For more information, visit http://www.balletwest.org/thanksgivingpoint.
With performances during its inaugural season under its belt, organizers of San Antonio’s newest ballet company, Ballet Latino de San Antonio, are working on the fall 2014 schedule as well as plans for performing abroad next year.
The San Antonio Express-News said Ballet Latino is the city’s second professional ballet company. Ballet San Antonio, the resident ballet company at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, was the first. Both companies were started by the same woman, Mayra Worthen, a native of Puerto Rico and a graduate of Texas Christian University.
Her new company is a perfect fit in a city where Latin music is as familiar and welcome as country and western, she said. “Ballet Latino is a neo-classical company that celebrates Hispanic cultures by combining classical ballet with Latin rhythms such as salsa,” Worthen said.
Most of the members, she said, are from countries such as Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, and Italy, and well-versed in Latin music.
Worthen is looking to obtain sponsors and funds to put Ballet Latino on firm financial footing, and is working on the fall season and negotiating to take the troupe north next year. Ballet Latino has been invited to perform at a dance festival in Canada in the spring, Worthen said.
This month, ABT has awarded Project Plié scholarships to seven teachers from around the country who have shown enthusiasm and dedication to teaching children from underserved communities.
The teachers participated in American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum summer session and have all been certified in Pre-Primary Level through Level 3. The 2014 NTC Teacher Training Scholarship recipients are:
• Fabian Barnes, a former soloist with Dance Theatre of Harlem and founder and artistic director of the Dance Institute of Washington in Washington, DC. His outreach program, Positive Directions Through Dance, was awarded in 2011 with a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities—the most prestigious award this country gives for working with at-risk youth.
• Lawrence Lemon, founder of the Nomel Inspirational Dance Theater, and also founder and director of the Ohio Black Dance Festival in Columbus, Ohio. As the director of dance at Ohio Avenue After School Youth Program, he currently directs an arts integration program for several charter schools.
• Adam McKinney, a former dancer with Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. As chair of the dance department at New Mexico School for the Arts, he works to provide a diverse group of young people high quality academic and artistic education as he shows them what might be possible through ballet education.
• Kimberley Stewart, owner and artistic director of the Arabesque Dance Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio, is also a licensed social worker who works with children who have been the victims of abuse and neglect. In 2013, she was presented with a Community Leadership Award from President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition for her work to build and diversify the dance program in Toledo, Ohio, area YMCAs.
• Sarah Williams, core teacher of ballet at Keshet Dance Company in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The company is a non-profit whose professional dancers work within the community as teachers and mentors in Albuquerque, following its mission to “provide a strong base of positive mentorship for homeless and incarcerated youth and demolish misconceptions about individuals with physical disabilities.”
• Joseph Malbrough, a former principal dancer with Chicago City Ballet, Ballet Chicago, and L’Opera de Lausanne, who currently teaches at Ballet Academy East and is a lecturer/faculty in the Conservatory of Dance School of the Arts at Purchase College.
• Khilea Douglass, a former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Broadway dancer who currently dances for the Lula Washington Dance Theatre and also teaches ballet and modern at the school, which is comprised of a community of underrepresented children ages 8 to 15.
For more information, visit http://www.abt.org/education/projectplie/teachertraining/NTCrecipients.asp.
The Nashville Ballet is embarking on an unprecedented public fundraising campaign to finance an expansion project to grow studio space, renovate its Sylvan Heights headquarters, and dramatically increase the number of students, reported the Tennessean.
The nonprofit organization has already raised $3.7 million out of its goal of $5.5 million.
Plans call for the Martin Center for Nashville Ballet to grow from 3.5 studios to seven, and from 31,000 square feet to 44,000 square feet. Lobby space will be renovated, and bathrooms and locker rooms will also be upgraded.
“A big part of Nashville Ballet’s reputation, business, and role is to provide ballet education and dance education to the community,” said Nashville Ballet CEO and artistic director Paul Vasterling said, who added that the expansion will allow the ballet to offer more classes to students.
Student enrollment (from toddlers to adults) has increased from about 600 students in 2011 to 1,200 in 2013. Gerry Hayden, who serves as treasurer for the board of directors, anticipates that, following the expansion and renovation, the number of dance class students will increase by 1,200, about double its current capacity.
American Ballet Theatre is donating some 50,000 documents to the Library of Congress, and to celebrate the gift, the library is readying an exhibition, “American Ballet Theatre: Touring the Globe for 75 Years,” which is to open August 14 at its James Madison Memorial Building in Washington, DC, and travel to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in March.
The New York Times said the materials, accumulated during ABT’s sometimes bumpy 74-year history, had mostly been stored in its costume warehouses, but had also piled up in old file drawers or been donated by the boxful by relatives of alumni. There are scrapbooks of press clippings carefully cut and pasted by Lucia Chase, the founding director of Ballet Theatre; programs from state dinners for the prime minister of Japan and the president of Ivory Coast; and diaries and tour itineraries that reflect the grueling nature of rehearsals and life on the road.
George Balanchine’s 1947 contract for Theme and Variations is there. It stipulated that he would be paid $25 per performance in the first year, with his compensation falling to $15 by the third. Amid the mounds of papers also lies Jerome Robbins’s 1944 contract for Fancy Free. As a novice choreographer, he was offered only $10 per performance, with no mention of the ballet being staged beyond one year. (Little did they know.)
Rachel Moore, Ballet Theatre’s chief executive, said company officials had been worrying for years about how to conserve the papers and allow public access to them. A solution was suggested by Victoria Phillips, a Ballet Theatre board member and dance historian who had worked at the Library of Congress.
“[The library has] a number of dance-related collections—Martha Graham, Oliver Smith, Nijinska—and also collections that have crossover with Ballet Theatre, like Leonard Bernstein,” Phillips said. “So it wasn’t just bringing a dance collection to them, but also something that could be cross read by scholars.”
To read the full story, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/arts/dance/ballet-theater-donating-trove-of-materials-to-library-of-congress.html?_r=0.
The public is invited to meet Jacques d’Amboise, former New York City Ballet dancer and longtime dance educator, at the National Museum of Dance, Saratoga Springs, New York, on August 10 at 11am.
D’Amboise won esteem for his performing career on stage and in films such as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. In 1976 he founded the National Dance Institute, which annually provides dance instruction to 40,000 NYC low-income schoolchildren free of charge.
D’Amboise joins film legend Gene Kelly as one of the 2014 inductees to the museum’s Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame.
This event is free and open to the public. Brunch will be served. The National Museum of Dance, 99 South Broadway, is open for daily admissions Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm and Sunday from 12 noon to 4pm. For more information, visit www.dancemuseum.org or call 518.584.2225.
More than 40 pre-professional dancers ages 15 to 19 from around the world will be competing in the fourth annual Cecchetti International Classical Ballet Competition, to be held at the Carpenter Theatre at Richmond [VA] CenterStage, August 7 to 9.
“This is the first competition hosted in the U.S.,” Betty Seibert chairwoman of Cecchetti International Ballet and board member of Cecchetti USA, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
She said the competition rotates among the seven organizations that compose the Cecchetti International Ballet, with the next competition to be held in Italy.
Each of the seven Cecchetti organizations uses the teaching and training methods of Italian ballet virtuoso and mime Enrico Cecchetti, who coached Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova exclusively from 1907 to 1909, and who created the system of technique exercises and training known as the Cecchetti method.
The public is welcome to attend individual solo performances on Thursday and Friday beginning at 7pm, as well as a gala reception with the announcement of winners on Saturday.
General admission tickets for Thursday and Friday nights are $37, with the gala reception at $77. Packages of all three events are available. Tickets can be purchased at Richmond CenterStage Box Office, online at www.etix.comor at 800.514.3849.
A group of French ballet stars from the renowned Paris Opera held classes for dozens of students last month in the shadow of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. It was the group’s second visit to the region since the 2011 disaster, reported the Japan Times.
The troupe of about 10 dancers gave technique advice and offered moral support as the youngsters try to return to a normal life after the worst atomic crisis in a generation.
“Today I learned where to put my hands when I’m turning and how to express myself through movement,” said Moyu Sakai, 12, a student at the Hitomi Takeuchi Ballet School in Fukushima, about 60 kilometers from the plant.
Like tens of thousands of others, Sakai and her family fled their home after the tsunami hit the Fukushima plant, sending reactors into meltdown. “I could only think about ballet. As soon as I returned, I started my lessons again,” Sakai said.
French ballet star Dorothee Gilbert praised the children. “I think they are courageous. It’s tough to recover from a disaster like that and move on,” she said. “They’re very diligent and have some good dance skills.”
The troupe visited five schools last weekend, in Fukushima, Sendai, and Ishinomaki. Yuka Oba, 26, a former student of the school who left after the disaster and now dances professionally in the U.S., said some of her former classmates were still living in tough circumstances.
“But when they dance with all their might, that helps them feel better and forget the situation,” Oba said. “That is fantastic to be able to escape reality, even if it’s just while they’re dancing.”
An ad opens with a letter being read aloud by a young girl:
“Dear Candidate. Thank you for your application to our ballet academy. Unfortunately you have not been accepted. You lack the right feet, Achilles tendons, turnout, torso length, and bust. You have the wrong body for ballet, and at 13, you are too old to be considered.”
The words are taken from rejection letters Misty Copeland received over the years—long before the American Ballet Theatre soloist became the new face of Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want” campaign, which focuses on the apparel giant’s women’s business.
ESPN said it’s hard not to get chills from the highly edited version of Copeland’s life that is presented in Under Armour’s new ad. And it doesn’t even scratch the surface as to what she went through (a broken home, poverty, and a late start at age 13 in a Boys & Girls Club ballet class) and what she became.
Says Copeland: “Life was so hard that I think that I almost needed to become a ballet dancer to develop as a person.”
While some might call the company’s signing of Copeland risky, in a cluttered media world she—unlike Under Armour endorsers such as skier Lindsey Vonn, tennis player Sloane Stephens, and soccer player Kelley O’Hara—raises eyebrows just by her presence.
The sponsorship deal has been huge for Copeland, too. Soloists like her, she says, generally make between $50,000 and $100,000 a year at the ballet company. She’s near the top of that pay range these days, and she says the Under Armour deal actually pays her more than ballet does.
To read the original story and see the ad, visit http://espn.go.com/espnw/athletes-life/article/11291626/espnw-why-armour-banking-ballerina-misty-copeland.
Two 15-year-old dancers with Vancouver’s Goh Ballet have won the top two prizes in the Wien Welt Wettbewerb Ballet Competition in Vienna, the first time two Canadian dancers won both prizes in the international competition’s seven-year history, the Vancouver Sun reports.
The winners were Michelle Khoo, who won gold as well as the Most Talented Young Performer award in contemporary, and Chihiro Abe, who won silver, after competing with more than 200 dancers from 20 countries.
“I’m so proud of them winning the gold and silver medal at the same time,” said Goh Ballet founder Choo Chiat Goh. “I’m so proud of my city and I’m so proud of my country. They are very beautiful dancers for the future.”
Both dancers have been training with the Goh Ballet for more than a decade and it was the first time either of them participated in an international competition.
Goh Ballet Academy director Chan Hon Goh, who represented Canada as the only North American judge, said: “I was extremely proud of the Canadian representation here in Vienna as their love of dance radiated across to the audience. Vienna is a recognizable center for the arts that is well-respected and admired for its cultural history. It brought such joy to my heart to be able to see Goh Ballet dancers prove their accomplishments on this international stage.”
To see the original story, visit http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/
Several protestors sang the Ukrainian National Anthem and spoke out to decry the recent actions of Russian president Vladimir Putin at the Bolshoi Ballet’s opening night performance in Saratoga Springs, New York, this week, reported Time Warner Cable News.
Andrij Baran, president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee in the Capital District, said Tuesday’s protest in the Saratoga Performing Arts Center parking lot wasn’t meant to criticize the dancers of the Bolshoi Ballet, one of the oldest Russian ballet companies in the world, currently on a tour of the U.S. and Canada. Rather, the protesters hoped to draw attention to the tensions in Eastern Europe.
“There are many children and people killed,” said Ukrainian local Marion Swidersky. “We still have relatives there. I have nieces and nephews, and [other protesters] have children and grandchildren. We try to call public attention that while they’re enjoying art, they have to remember those killed by Russian targets.”
This week marked the first performance of the Bolshoi in Saratoga Springs. Bill Fraley was on hand to watch a little piece of history. “To remember all the steps, first of all, and to see them dance all of that, it’s kind of interesting to see that,” he said. “We’re very lucky to be here.”
Hours earlier, President Obama and the European Union imposed severe sanctions against Russia. Obama has criticized Putin for the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Christopher Stowell, former artistic director of Oregon Ballet Theatre, has been appointed to the title of ballet master and assistant to the artistic director at San Francisco Ballet.
Beginning August 25, Stowell—who danced with SF Ballet for 16 years—will oversee a number of artistic duties in addition to those held by former ballet master and assistant to the artistic director Bruce Sansom.
Stowell will report to SF Ballet artistic director and principal choreographer Helgi Tomasson, and work with the ballet’s administrative team on matters of planning, budgeting, and program expense management. He will also assist with scheduling, and artist and season management. As ballet master, Stowell will teach company class and rehearse ballets for the repertory season.
Born in New York City, Stowell received his training at Pacific Northwest Ballet School and the School of American Ballet before joining SF Ballet in 1985. Stowell has taught and coached in San Francisco, New York, Japan, China, and Europe, and has created new works for SF Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Diablo Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, as well as the New York City Ballet Choreographic Institute.
Stowell served as OBT’s artistic director from 2003 to 2012. For more information, visit http://www.sfballet.org/about/media_center/press_releases/Chris_Stowell.
In a mid-sized company like Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, a corps de ballet member is usually a face in the crowd—a villager, one in a group of friends, a supporting player.
But after his final PBT performance as the foppish nobleman Gamache in Don Quixote, Stephen Hadala took center stage, surrounded by the entire company. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said it was the first time in more than 40 years that PBT had so honored a member of the corps de ballet.
Maybe that was because the 16-year veteran was in a class by himself, above the usual distinctions between principal dancer, soloist, and corps. During his career, he never coveted a promotion. His steadiness, work ethic, and sense of humor made him a “rock” of the company, his colleagues say.
Robert Vickrey, assistant to the artistic director, recalls how the young Hadala would attend a full day of PBT rehearsals then walk to a full-time job at a Rite Aid.
“It was his determination and perseverance,” Vickrey said. “He never slacked off. He kept his nose to the grindstone and was always in class. But there was no one in the world who was more fun than Stephen. You could say anything to him and he had an answer for it.”
Hadala joined the company in 1998, and quickly began to show a gift for character roles, making his mark as Dracula, Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Dr. Coppelius in Coppélia.
“Stephen personalized roles no matter how big or how small,” PBT principal dancer Julia Erickson said. “He made something out of everything.”
He gradually developed into a secure partner, debuted in contemporary works, helped to train new dancers, and, as union representative for 14 years, won the respect of management and fellow dancers.
Hadala will return to Detroit so he and his sister can take over the Allard Academy of Dance, the place where everything began. To read the full story, visit http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/theater-dance/2014/07/27/Pittsburgh-Ballet-Theatre-loses-a-rock-as-Hadala-retires/stories/201407230001.
Often called “one of the finest dancers of his generation,” American Ballet Theatre standout Ángel Corella has been appointed artistic director of the Pennsylvania Ballet.
“We are incredibly excited to be bringing a director with this level of talent, experience, and passion into our community,” board co-chair David Hoffman said in a release. “Pennsylvania Ballet is at the threshold of a new and dynamic era that calls for an artistic leader with the vision, energy, and creativity to excite audiences. Ángel has the power to make Philadelphia one of the most exhilarating dance cities in the world.”
Born and raised in Madrid, Spain, Corella joined ABT in 1995 and was promoted to principal dancer the following year. He is credited with elevating the technique and artistry of male dancing throughout the world and possessing incredible technical skills matched only by his warmth and passion for the dance.
Corella has spent the last six years in Spain as director of his own company, originally the Corella Ballet Castilla y León, which became the Barcelona Ballet. “Pennsylvania Ballet has such a great reputation, such great dancers and such a loyal audience,” he said. “My dream is to build on this rich history, its Balanchine legacy, and make the company a center for all the best in ballet, a true national model.”
He will replace Roy Kaiser, who is stepping down after 19 years as artistic director to assume the title of artistic director emeritus. To see the full release, visit http://www.paballet.org/pennsylvania-ballet-trustees-appoint-%C3%A1ngel-corella-artistic-director.
Five sumptuous Royal Ballet productions will be broadcast to more than 360 cinema screens in the U.S. October through May as part of the 2014–15 Royal Ballet Cinema Season, presented by Fathom Events and the Royal Opera House.
Killer Aphrodite said four ballets will be captured live from London: Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon on October 16, Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on December 16, Anthony Dowell’s Swan Lake on March 19, and Frederick Ashton’s La Fille Mal Gardée on May 5. Rounding out the season is the broadcast of the prerecorded The Winter’s Tale on February 17, also choreographed by Wheeldon.
Each event in the series will also feature 15 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage including interviews with the performers and specially captured rehearsal elements.
Alastair Roberts, managing director of Royal Opera House Enterprises, said the ballet is excited not only about the expanded cinema broadcast season, but also about its planned 2015 tour of the U.S., with performances set for Chicago, Washington, DC, and New York City.
Tickets for the 2014–15 Royal Ballet Cinema Season are on sale at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. For more information about Royal Opera House and the ballet series, visit www.roh.org.uk.
To see the original story, visit http://www.killeraphrodite.com/2014/07/news-royal-opera-house-ballet-series-returns-2nd-season-u-s-cinemas/.
The Cape Dance Festival, scheduled for July 26 at 6pm at the Province Lands Amphitheatre in Provincetown, Massachusetts, has been a labor of love for co-founders Stacey-Jo Marine and Liz Wolff. And that affection for increasing the amount of dance performance on the Cape has been embraced throughout the region.
“The summer program this year will have a different feel with a lot of new work,” says Marine in Provincetown Magazine. “Newer work and a fresh vibe.”
Scheduled performers include Boston Ballet soloist John Lam, along with dancers from the Martha Graham Dance Company, CorbinDances, Nickerson-Rossi Dance, Take Dance, Mazzini Dance Collective, Pedro Ruiz, and Project Moves Dance Company.
Marine and Wolff formed Cape Dance Festival in 2013 to bring world-class dance to the residents and visitors of Cape Cod through education, altruism, and performance. Marine, who teaches dance production at Marymount Manhattan College, is currently touring with the Martha Graham Dance Company as production supervisor. Wolff is a life-long summer resident of the Cape who danced professionally in New York and Cleveland for 15 years, and is the co-curator for Dance On Camera, a film festival held annually at Lincoln Center, NYC.
The Province Lands Amphitheater is located at 171 Race Point Road, next to the Province Lands Visitor Center. For more information, visit http://capedancefestival.com/.
Talk about worlds colliding. For the past three years, since David Hallberg made headlines by becoming the first American—and first foreigner—to be named a principal dancer at the storied Bolshoi Ballet, Hallberg, a blond, elegant dancer from the American heartland, has lived what he calls two separate lives—his American life, in New York (where he still dances for American Ballet Theatre), and his Russian life, in Moscow.
But last week, the two converged, as the Bolshoi performed in New York for the first time in nearly a decade.
An Associated Press story in the Houston Chronicle said that over the past three years Hallberg has become known as sort of a ballet diplomat: a dancer who took the reverse journey to the one Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov took many years earlier, when they defected. He’s hired a personal publicist, travels the world making guest appearances, and has been a subject of artsy fashion magazine shoots.
He’s feeling “more and more part of the fabric of the Bolshoi.” Almost everyone has been welcoming, he says, down to the cleaners in the hallways. “They all want to say good morning, practice their English,” he laughs.
As for his own Russian, it’s been a slow process. In time, though, he’s built a nice Moscow social life, he says—not so much with dancers as with designers, photographers, stylists, and artists. He’s developed an affinity for a city he once hated—and doesn’t seem to mind the cold.
At work, he’s found that he’s immersed mainly in the classics, like Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. While that can be satisfying, and is physically quite demanding, he says he needs to find time to stretch himself with contemporary choreographers. “I just have to stay aware, because it could turn into all Swan Lakes, all around the world,” he says.
He adds: “You know, when I went to the Bolshoi, I thought, ‘This could totally blow up in my face. I could be back in New York in six months.’ But sometimes life says, ‘Listen, this is what’s going to happen. This is the ride that you’re going to go on.’ ”
To read the full story, visit http://www.chron.com/entertainment/article/A-full-circle-moment-for-Bolshoi-s-American-star-5628393.php.
Some 130 representatives of 30 countries are taking part in the 26th edition of the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria, which aims at finding young talents in classical and contemporary ballet.
2014 marks 50 years since the inaugural Varna festival, founded in 1964 as the world’s first professional international competition. Vladimir Vasiliev from Russia will serve as jury chair for this year’s panel, which includes judges from Cuba, Bulgaria, USA, Japan, Germany, Romania, Monaco, Argentina, France, Korea, China, and Kazakhstan.
Ballet fans around the world can tune in next week as some of the competition and special events are broadcast live on BNT World July 26, 27, 29, and 30 at 8pm Central European Summer Time. (To access the broadcast, visit http://tv.bnt.bg/bntworld/.)
Competition began Tuesday. The third round will take place July 26 and 27. Prizes will be awarded at the official closing ceremony July 29, followed by a Super Gala, “Meeting of Generations,” on July 30.
To learn more about Varna, visit http://www.varna-ibc.org/site/?lang=en.
The London Boys Ballet School, the first of its kind in the UK, is dedicated entirely to boys, according to its founder James Anthony, who hopes to remove the stigma surrounding boys doing ballet, reports BBC News London.
Anthony, 33, a former teacher and sports coach, says he started the school partially because “I really wanted to take up ballet when I was at school but I thought I would get bullied.”
He said he hoped to stop other boys being put off by creating an environment where they do not feel like the odd ones out. “It’s all about changing the image. There’s nothing girly about the “huge amounts of strength, confidence, flexibility, and athletic ability,” needed by males who dance, he said.
Royal Ballet School figures show the number of boys who applied for full-time training there increased by 30 percent in the past two years. Elsewhere, Matthew Bourne—probably Britain’s best-known choreographer—recently recruited more than 300 novice dancers for his Lord of the Flies tour, in an attempt to get more young men dancing.
And the school has appeared to be receiving recognition from far afield, ever since it opened in March. “We get emails from all over the world praising us for what we do,” Anthony adds.
To read the full story, visit http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-28129203.
Joan Myers Brown is a Philadelphia legend: in 1960 she started a school—and a decade later, the dance company Philadanco—hoping to nullify entrenched racism in ballet, modern, and theatrical dance. She is also founder of the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD), a performance forum and broad-based cultural exchange.
But when Brown received a National Medal for the Arts Award from President Obama last year, she said she was honored, but more concerned with the fiscal shape of her company, reported the
Huffington Post. Today, at age 82 and getting ready for her company’s 45th season, there is no time for a victory lap.
“If I don’t get the company back on its feet, financially, I’m going to have start from scratch,” Brown said. For years she has been one of the few companies to contract her dancers with year-round salaries, and recently she was forced to put them on a two-month furlough.
Philadanco is anything but a static dance company; Brown nurtures new choreographers and new artistic collaborations with other city arts institutions like the Philadelphia Orchestra. The company typically tours 40-plus weeks a year, with many dates sold out. But it never makes enough in ticket sales to pay all the bills. Like many other arts organizations, dance companies have to secure grants and corporate funding to remain solvent, but dance grants are disappearing or becoming more bureaucratically arbitrary and difficult to negotiate.
Brown echoes the frustration of a lot of artistic directors who have proven track records, yet still have to prove themselves worthy. “Being dictating to, what you can and can’t do, so you are not allowed to do your art. I get grants, but there are strings attached.” Rather than lamenting, Brown is even more resolute. The company will head out on another European tour in January.
To read the full story, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lew-whittington/despite-fiscal-setbacks-p_b_5584763.html?utm_hp_ref=arts&ir=Arts.
Close to 250 students take classes at Ballet Idaho Academy, including one male dancer who is beating the odds while hoping for a future in ballet, reports KTVB.com.
“I get a lot of attention,” admits dancer Antonio Carnell, 15, who is into his sixth year of study at Ballet Idaho. Carnell was prenatally exposed to drugs, born premature, and went through withdrawal. He lived in foster homes in St. Louis, Missouri, before being adopted at age 3 by Michael and Diane Carnell, who brought Antonio to Boise and gave him a safe place to grow.
“Even when he was little he was such a performer,” said Diane. When he showed an interest in dance at age 10, his family encouraged him. A dance scholarship at Ballet Idaho sealed the deal.
Antonio’s teachers say he has a natural ability. “He has a wonderful stage personality,” said academy director Emily Wallace. “And you really see that in him, that drive to perfection.”
The teenager is working hard to reach his goal of becoming an accomplished dancer, including taking part in a summer intensive in Oregon for the next few weeks. Instructors in Boise say he has the potential to keep growing, and perhaps dance in a ballet company in the future.
To see the original story, visit http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2014/07/15/boise-teen-ballet-adversity/12681599/.
It’s ballet, but not quite as you know it. As well as the usual ballet attire, dancers are also wearing their babies. The Daily Mail reports that in a new fitness craze sweeping the U.S., Babywearing Ballet is being billed as the perfect exercise class for new mothers, especially those who can’t find a babysitter.
It means the little ones are already doing pliés and tendus before they can even walk. For the duration of the class, the mothers practice usual ballet techniques while wearing their newborn babies in a baby carrier or sling.
It is claimed that not only do the classes benefit the mothers who get a gentle, safe, and effective workout, but the babies too, who enjoy the movement and music, said to emulate the swaying and motion they felt in the womb.
Ballet dancer and mother of two Morgan Castner created this class in Tustin, California.
Now a video she posted on Facebook showing her students dancing with their babies has been shared more than 20,000 times. Castner said she has been overwhelmed by the response to her video since posting it online.
Castner teaches with her nine-week-old daughter Quinn in a sling and came up with the idea two years ago. She explains: “My son was 11 months old and with my husband serving in the military, I was looking for fun things we could do together out of the house while he was away. I love dancing and loved babywearing, so it was a natural progression.”
Castner says that the main focus of the class is bonding between mother and child, adding that it is only natural that babies enjoy the motion from dance and find it relaxing after being swayed in the womb for nine months.
According to her website, classes begin by warming up at the barre with pliés, tendus and dégagés and move to center floor work, all while wearing the little one in a sling. Castner says Babywearing Ballet is suitable for all levels of fitness and for babies from newborn to any babywearing age. All participants need is a comfortable and secure baby carrier and usual gym clothes.
Tutus are optional.
Star-crossed lovers. Immaculate dance moves. Giant robots. If it sounds like the plot of the newest Guillermo del Toro movie, you wouldn’t be too far from the truth. The reality, however, might be even more exciting: Tchaikovsky’s ballet fantasia, Francesca da Rimini, choreographed by Yuri Possokhov and danced by Maria Kochetkova and Joan Boada of San Francisco Ballet—and gorgeously filmed with the aid of a massive, robot-controlled camera.
As director Tarik Abdel-Gawad explained in The Creators Project: “The film itself brings the viewer closer to a ballet performance than is possible on a stage. Using a robot allows the camera to be choreographed as well as the dancers, achieving spectacular shots designed specifically for this performance. The end result is a film that makes viewers feel they’re in the room dancing with the performers.”
The work began by capturing the real choreography digitally and with animated camera motion in 3D. The digital and the physical were then united as the real performance was shot with a motion control camera.
The robot never appears on screen: it is used as a tool for camera control. “The camera motion was designed to move in rhythm with the choreography, following the dancers like another performer that counters and amplifies their movement,” he said. “We didn’t want to change the choreography to accommodate the tech. The challenge was to perform it with an intimidating robotic partner. It was more difficult for the dancers to adapt to this environment than it was for the robot.”
To view the finished film, as well as a “making of” featurette, visit http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/robots-and-choreography-abound-in-this-update-to-a-ballet-masterpiece.
Ballet San Antonio, which will be the resident ballet troupe at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, has added dancers from across the country to its artistic staff, reports mySanAntonio.com.
Amy Fote, a former principal dancer with the Houston and Milwaukee ballets, will be coaching, mentoring, and rehearsing dancers. She replaces Dede Barfield. Susan Clark, who danced with the Atlanta and Milwaukee ballets, is being brought in as artistic associate and répétiteur.
Besides those hires, the company has added Ben Stevenson, a noted choreographer and artistic director emeritus of Houston Ballet, to its advisory board.
“Ben, Amy and Susan will be invaluable as we expand our repertoire and continue to shape our company’s artistic style,” Artistic Director Gabriel Zertuche said in a press release. “The fact that artists of this caliber are joining our Ballet San Antonio family, speaks to our strengths and the national attention we are attracting.”
The company kicks off its first season at Tobin with Zertuche’s “Dracula” in October.
To see the original story, visit http://blog.mysanantonio.com/weekender/2014/07/ballet-sa-expands-staff/.
The Joffrey Academy of Dance, official school of The Joffrey Ballet, announces a national call for artists to submit applications for the Joffrey Academy’s Fifth Annual Choreographers of Color Award.
The goal of the award is to recognize talented and emerging choreographers of color whose diverse perspective will ignite creativity in the form of original works of dance. The deadline for application is October 1, 2014.
The winning choreographers will be awarded a $2,500 stipend and given a minimum of 30 rehearsal hours. They will set their piece on the international members of the Joffrey Academy Trainee Program and the newly formed Joffrey Studio Company, and have the opportunity to work closely with Joffrey academy artistic directors Anna Reznik and Alexei Kremnev.
The choreographic work must be original and developed by the applicant and the finished piece must be a minimum of 10 minutes and maximum of 12 minutes long. The world premiere works will be showcased at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 E. Chicago Avenue, March 7 and 8, 2015.
For application details, visit www.joffrey.org/winningworks.
New York City Ballet soloist Justin Peck has been appointed resident choreographer just two years after creating his first piece for the company, reported the New York Times.
Peck’s appointment, announced on Wednesday and effective immediately, makes him the second person to hold this position at NYCB, after Christopher Wheeldon, who was the company’s resident choreographer from 2001 to 2008.
The appointment requires Peck, who will continue to dance with NYCB, to create two ballets a year for the next three years. He will also be able to create ballets for other companies—upcoming premieres of his work are planned for Pacific Northwest Ballet in November and Miami City Ballet in March.
“I’m ecstatic,” Peck, 26, said in a telephone interview from Saratoga Springs where NYCB was preparing for a week of performances, including his most recent ballet, Everywhere We Go. “It has been a dream or goal of mine to have a more permanent place as a dance maker, and City Ballet is my ideal place and my home in the dance mecca of New York.”
Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky (who was offered the resident choreographer position at NYCB after Wheeldon left, but went to American Ballet Theatre as its artist in residence in 2009) are generally considered the major ballet choreographers of the last decade.
Peck’s work “perfectly captures the spirit and dynamic of today’s generation of dancers at City Ballet,” said Wheeldon by telephone from Paris. “They are extremely lucky to have him.”
To see the full story, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/10/arts/dance/new-york-city-ballet-names-justin-peck-as-choreographer.html?_r=0.
San Francisco Ballet is in Paris for an unprecedented 17-day engagement at the Théâtre du Châtelet, beginning on July 10, and is featured in the Les Etés de la Danse Festival, reported San Francisco Classical Voice.
The company program is varied and extensive, compressing virtually the entire home season into the festival days. The entire company—principals, soloists, corps de ballet—is participating. A notable homecoming is that of Mathilde Froustey, on extended leave from the Paris Opera Ballet; she will stay with SF Ballet at least through 2015.
Opening night is an exceptionally generous gala. The program: Renato Zanella’s Alles Walzer, Val Caniparoli’s No Other, the pas de deux from Kenneth MacMillan’s Concerto, Helgi Tomasson’s Chaconne for Piano and Two Dancers, Yuri Possokhov’s Classical Symphony, the pas de deux from George Balanchine’s Agon, Johan Kobborg’s Les Lutins, Frederick Ashton’s Voices of Spring, the second movement pas de deux from Balanchine’s Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain, and the fourth movement and finale from Balanchine’s Symphony in C.
From the opening until the July 26 closing concert, SF Ballet will present some three dozen works.
Interesting tidbit: Théâtre du Châtelet was originally used for drama performances. Beginning in April 1876, the stage version of Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days, adapted by Verne and Adolphe d’Ennery, began a run spanning 64 years and 2,195 performances (not continuously), until the Nazi occupation of Paris in 1940 closed the production permanently.
To see the original story, visit https://www.sfcv.org/article/sf-ballet-at-home-in-paris.
American Ballet Theatre’s upcoming 75th anniversary celebration will feature works by choreographers most closely associated with ABT, including Agnes de Mille, Antony Tudor, Michel Fokine, Frederick Ashton, Léonide Massine, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, and Alexei Ratmansky.
These works, such as Tudor’s Jardin aux Lilas and Robbins’ Fancy Free, will serve to showcase the company’s wide-ranging style, historic legacy, and continuing innovation. Special anniversary events commemorating the company’s history will be outlined in upcoming announcements.
ABT’s fall season at New York City’s David H. Koch Theater, set for October 22 to November 2, will include a world premiere by Liam Scarlett, and a new production of Raymonda Divertissements, staged by Kevin McKenzie and Irina Kolpakova after Marius Petipa.
ABT principal dancers include Isabella Boylston, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent, Gillian Murphy, Veronika Part, Xiomara Reyes, Hee Seo, Herman Cornejo, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Daniil Simkin, Cory Stearns, and James Whiteside.
Fall season tickets, priced from $20, go on sale July 14 at www.abt.org, the Koch box office, or at 212.496.0600.
Bolshoi Ballet artistic director Sergei Filin, 43, has recovered from an acute allergic reaction to an eye treatment that sent him to the hospital Friday, according to the Russian news agency Interfax.
Filin, who was nearly blinded in a 2013 acid attack, wasted no time getting back to the theater for rehearsals, an associate said Sunday.
The Washington Post passed along the Interfax report that Filin was discharged Sunday from Moscow’s Sklifosovsky Research Institute and is in “normal” condition. He then returned to rehearsals at the Bolshoi Theater, where he is overseeing a new production of The Taming of the Shrew set to premiere July 4.
On Friday, an allergic reaction caused swelling, “something similar to the attack from allergy to peanuts,” said Filin’s friend and former adviser at the Bolshoi, Dilyara Timergazina, in an e-mail. “His condition was immediately taken care of, but it was decided to take him to the hospital for further observation and detoxication. He is fine now.”
Interfax reported that the allergic condition is called Quincke’s edema.
Reports on Filin’s condition varied over the weekend, with some web sites reporting he was in grave or critical condition, or in a heart unit. Timergazina said these reports were false.
To see the original story, visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/bolshoi-ballet-director-back-at-work-again-after-health-scare/2014/06/29/70bb6b18-ff93-11e3-8572-4b1b969b6322_story.html.
Nearly half the nine dancers representing the Republic of Korea are going home with hardware from the 2014 USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, scoring more medal wins than any other country.
The Clarion-Ledger reported that only two American dancers, both in the women’s junior division (ages 15–18)—Gisele Bethea and Mackenzie Richter—leaped into the medals lineup. Bethea won gold and Richter won silver.
In what IBC international jury chair and dance legend Edward Villella termed “the finest of the fine,” medalists and other award winners were announced Friday morning following two weeks of intense competition at Thalia Mara Hall.
Republic of Korea’s Jeong Hansol, 21, took gold in the IBC’s most competitive field, the senior men’s division, with the help of his comedic contemporary piece, “Forgot Something,” appearing in tailcoat, hat, and hot-pink briefs as he illustrated a near-universal nightmare. Korea’s Byul Yun, 19, who won silver, said through an interpreter that he’d been to many competitions in the world, “but this one was one of the best. . . . This competition was one I dreamed of when I started dancing.”
Brazil scored three bronzes with dancers who, during the competitive rounds, captivated audiences that responded with a near rock-star welcome and audible buzz.
Along with her gold medal in the senior division, Japanese dancer Shiori Kase, 22, a soloist with the English National Ballet in London, was also taking home a global outlook on dance and this reminder: “I realize that it’s not just about technique. It’s about artistry, it’s about musicality. It made me think, again, that’s very important.”
To see the original story, visit http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2014/06/27/medals-awarded-th-usa-ibc/11519247/.
For ballet fans, there’s nothing more fun than perusing a collection of black and white photographs from ballet’s glamorous past. Vintage Everyday has posted an interesting assortment of backstage, onstage, and publicity shots from the 1950s and 1960s by Russian-French photographer Serge Lido (1906–1984).
Though based in Paris, Lido gained an international reputation for his dance photos, which were published in magazines and also collected in book form, such as La Danse (1947) and Les Étoiles de la danse dans le monde (1975).
To view the 15 photos of Margot Fonteyn and others, visit http://www.vintag.es/2014/06/gorgeous-vintage-ballet-photography-by.html.
Dance Informa reports that three renowned artists are coming together to create and produce a feature-length ballet version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic The Great Gatsby. Set to premiere in Russia in October 2014, the production has plans to soon thereafter embark on a world tour.
Complexions Contemporary Ballet co-artistic director Dwight Rhoden will be bringing his creative eye to the team. Joining Rhoden will be pop composer Konstantin Meladze, and project star and art director Denis Matvienko, former Mariinsky Ballet principal and ABT guest.
Matvienko, who will star as Jay Gatsby, underwent a major surgery on his leg in April and recently announced his return to performing. Denis Matvienko’s sister, Alyona Matvienko, will serve as the project’s producer.
The first official auditions for The Great Gatsby ballet were held at the Mariinsky Theatre last month. It has not been announced who will partner Matvienko and dance the role of Daisy Buchanan.
To read the full story, visit http://danceinforma.us/articles/allstar-team-joins-up-for-the-great-gatsby/.
New York City Ballet was in Copenhagen when the news arrived on Sept. 11, 2001, that the Twin Towers had been attacked. Heartbroken and almost 4,000 miles away from home, ballet master in chief Peter Martins announced to the audience that the company would not dance that night. He promised they would return the next day—and they did. “We were so moved by this story,” recalls Peter Hempel, CEO of ad agency DDB New York. “We wanted a way to capture the spirit of what New York City Ballet believes in, which is new beginnings.”
To do so, DDB, with the help of RadicalMedia, shot NYCB principal dancers Maria Kowroski and Ask la Cour performing a segment from After the Rain, by Christopher Wheeldon, at sunrise atop the new 4 World Trade Center. Since being uploaded on Sept. 12, 2013, the tribute has been viewed upwards of 1.1 million times on YouTube, and is the second most-viewed clip in the NYCB site’s history.
It’s also why Adweek named the video the Gold winner in the Production category of Adweek’s first Watch Awards competition, which celebrates the best work and talent in online video.
Rather than rely on the gimmicks many filmmakers use with ballet dancers (close-ups of toes on pointe, elongated limbs), Hempel—who himself trained with NYCB in his youth—says DDB and Radical involved the choreographer and dancers, with an eye on capturing intricate technique. The clip was filmed in one steady take to mimic the experience of watching a live performance. “We were able to not make the mistakes that someone who doesn’t understand ballet would,” says Hempel.
“It was an honor to offer this tribute to the city of New York, and we are grateful to the team at DDB for their creativity, sensitivity and skill in realizing a project that has resonated with so many,” says Karen Girty, NYCB’s senior director of marketing and media.
To see the original story, visit http://www.adweek.com/news-gallery/advertising-branding/sept-11-will-never-be-forgotten-dance-troupe-158485.
By David Arce
When broken down to its simplest form, a pirouette is a quick passé with a relevé and a spot—period. It doesn’t matter how many spots are done. Doing fewer pirouettes with a proper classical ballet finish is always preferable to multiple pirouettes with a sloppy finish.
Students who can’t finish multiple pirouettes cleanly in a center combination most likely cannot end in the same lunge they can when doing a passé relevé or single pirouette. Also, some tend to end their pirouettes in only one position (usually a derrière lunge).
To address these problems, I have students perform a single pirouette with a controlled balance and finish in a predetermined, specific way (e.g., a lunge on any axis away from the supporting leg: forward, à la seconde (in both directions), derrière, and all quadrants in between. I stand in the quadrant the dancer is prone to fall in or prefers to end in and tell him or her not to hit me.
With repetition of this exercise, students will finish a single pirouette in the quadrant you choose, regaining balance and a proper finishing position.
During a turn, the dancer must not only hold the position (coupe, passé, etc.) but find more length through the body. Often students achieve the correct position at the beginning of the turn (from preparation to turning position) but then “sit” while rotating. Remind them that they must continue to strive for a lifted, lengthened, and stronger position as they turn.
If I notice “sitting” in a pirouette, during relevé exercises at the barre I have the dancers visualize growing taller—this is the base for the energy they must maintain during turns. By finding more turnout, a higher relevé, more length in the spine, and a squarer and higher working leg position, the students will produce better balances and improve their position in pirouettes.
Atlanta’s Own “That Girl”
When Ofelia de La Valette was a ponytailed kid growing up in New York City in the mid-‘60s, she wanted to be That Girl.
She’d watch the popular TV show of that name, idolizing its star, Marlo Thomas, “and thinking how amazing it would be to grow up and be independent and funny and smart” like Thomas’ character, she told Dance Studio Life. “Of all the TV shows or cultural influences, hers was the most impactful.”
Imagine de La Valette’s surprise two years ago when Thomas’ representatives called and began a year-long process of interviews. Apparently de La Valette’s story—born in Havana, Cuba, in 1960 to a wealthy family that fled, penniless, to NYC when she was 3; growing up poor, discovering dance at age 35, opening a studio at age 46 for adult beginners—fit the theme of Thomas’ latest book. Last month, when It Ain’t Over . . . Till It’s Over: Reinventing Your Life—and Realizing Your Dreams—Anytime, at Any Age was published, de La Valette was one of 60 women profiled in it.
De La Valette started her Atlanta studio, Dance 101, in 2004 with 36 adult students. Today her two locations serve up ballet, tap, jazz, fitness, musical theater, and more, to approximately 1,500 adults each week.
“Something magical happens to people when they dance,” she said. That Girl herself apparently agrees.
A Spitball o’ Both Your Houses
What started the Capulet and Montague feud that led to the tragic climax of Romeo and Juliet? Was it a kickball game? Or its origin might have been an exchange of insults: “Your wife is so annoying.” Oh yeah? “Your wife is mad ugly, like you.” Or perhaps a disagreement over which family had the better baked goods was to blame.
Shakespeare didn’t say, so in American Ballet Theatre’s “Make a Ballet” program this spring, 75 fifth-graders “wrote prologues to the prologue” said Dennis J. Walters, ABT’s associate director of education and training.
For 17 years, this in-school residency program has introduced underserved New York City schoolchildren to ballet not just by getting them dancing, but also by immersing them in the many components that interact to create the art, from production to administration to design. This spring, ABT teaching artists assisted students as they discussed Romeo and Juliet’s themes, wrote soliloquies, built set pieces, and created short dances.
For a finale, 25 selected students performed their version of the ballet alongside ABT dancers in a Young People’s Ballet Workshop at the Metropolitan Opera House. “It’s not always the best dancers we select; it’s the kids who are working hard,” Walters told Dance Studio Life. “We’re not identifying dancers. What’s important to us with this program is that we’re exposing students to something new and wonderful.”
Humor Moves to Hubbard Street
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago thinks dance should be a laughing matter, and this fall the contemporary company plans to prove it.
The company will create an original production with Chicago’s famed comedy troupe The Second City, which has nurtured comedians such as John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, Steve Carrell, Tina Fey, and Stephen Colbert.
When the collaboration was announced earlier this year, the dates for the show were set—October 16 to 19—but what would appear onstage was still up in the air. Inspired by the successful pairing of The Second City and Lyric Opera of Chicago, which resulted in a revue of comedic sketches and satirical vignettes, Hubbard Street officials were certain its creative minds would click with those at The Second City.
“Improvisation is a key part of our DNA on both sides,” Hubbard Street artistic director Glenn Edgerton said in a release.
Applause for Lerman and Brown
At the opening night celebration for the Dance/USA Annual Conference, Liz Lerman and D. David Brown will be recognized for their lifelong devotion to the dance field.
Lerman’s wide-ranging career in dance included an early ’70s stint as a go-go dancer, the 1976 creation of the multifaceted artists’ collaborative Dance Exchange, a MacArthur Fellowship in 2002, and a recent turn as artist in residence at Harvard University.
Brown danced up through Boston Ballet’s ranks before embarking on an equally successful career in company management, both in several positions with Boston and as executive director of Pacific Northwest Ballet.
On June 18, Lerman will receive the Honor Award for her extraordinary leadership, while Brown will receive the Ernie (Ian “Ernie” Horvath) Award for his work behind the scenes that has empowered and supported dance artists.
A Fitting Finale
It’s poetically fitting, choreographer Trey McIntyre says, that his respected contemporary company, Trey McIntyre Project, will end its life where it began—at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.
After a fruitful decade of creating dance, McIntyre announced this winter he was disbanding his company to pursue other artistic avenues, such as film and photography.
Ella Baff, the Pillow’s executive and artistic director, said a backstage conversation with McIntyre led to a handful of Pillow performances by a pickup company of his favorite dancers in 2005 and 2006, then to Trey McIntyre Project’s official full-time debut there in 2008.
After saying goodbye in a cross-country tour this spring, TMP’s farewell shows will be held June 25 to 29 at the Pillow’s Ted Shawn Theatre, Becket, Massachusetts.
Tap meets ballet at Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, and the results are anything but mixed
By Ryan P. Casey
You wouldn’t expect to find tap among the offerings at Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, a Miami studio rooted in ballet since 1951. But today this classical ballet school, formerly called The Miami Conservatory, encourages students ages 7 and up to study tap and ballet; for the members of its Tap Team, both forms of dance are required. The result? A win-win scenario.
Tap takes root
According to Miami native and TAYB teacher (and alum) Natasha Williams, 27, the birth of the tap team marked the beginning of a stronger tap presence in her home city. “There were lots of opportunities for dancers who studied modern or ballet,” she says, “but no groups or companies doing tap performances. I wanted my students to have something to work for besides the annual recital. And, as they get older, maybe someday I’ll have my own company.”
Ballet helps [students] learn to use their upper body and arms, which is essential for tap. They develop proper alignment and balance, they’re able to turn, and they know more terminology. —Natasha Williams
TAYB’s expansion into tap happened in 2007, when Williams stopped in to take a ballet class at her former studio. Unbeknownst to her, she was walking into a new job opportunity. The studio’s director, Ruth Wiesen, wanted to diversify the curriculum, and she asked Williams, who had studied tap, jazz, and ballet since childhood, to teach tap.
Williams chose to focus on tap after graduating from New World School of the Arts and studying business at Florida International University; she subsequently attended the inaugural tap program at The School at Jacob’s Pillow in 2010.
Now TAYB’s sole tap instructor, Williams says ballet is a boon to her students. “Ballet helps them learn to use their upper body and arms, which is essential for tap. They develop proper alignment and balance, they’re able to turn, and they know more terminology.” That allows her to “incorporate traditional dance moves and basic jazz steps into choreography, not just tap footwork,” she says. And there are more benefits: the students’ “attention to detail improves,” Williams says. And, she adds, “tap helps them musically in ballet. They can figure out the timing of the steps, or identify whether they’re dancing in waltz or 4/4 time.”
Ballet teacher Rosalyn Deshauters agrees. For ballet students, the benefits of tap include “understanding of rhythms,” she says. “My students really get excited by challenging rhythms and quick movement, so I remind them of the steps they’ve learned in tap.” Plus, Deshauters points out, “Many tap steps can be related to ballet steps—like the shuffle, for instance. The in-and-out movement of the leg bending at the knee is like a frappé, as one of my third-grade students pointed out one day.”
“A lot of young ballet students sit back in their heels; tap forces them to be more forward on their feet,” Wiesen adds. “Tap also gives them instant gratification because they can make sounds, and they move across the floor sooner. And it’s a safer choice for male students who are struggling with sexual identity, or who might have fathers or uncles who don’t approve of dance. If I can hook them with tap, maybe I can get them into ballet.”
Tap Team advances
Since 2010, TAYB has offered tap in three levels. Due to space and time constraints at the main studio, all tap classes are held at the school’s satellite locations.
By 2011, some tappers had progressed to an advanced level—but there were no youth companies or performance opportunities for them in the city. So Williams pitched the idea of the Tap Team, which would give the studio’s most skilled hoofers more training and additional shows, including those for which they could earn community-service hours for their academic schools. With Wiesen’s blessing, an eight-member team was formed and quickly flourished; it now boasts 23 members, most of whom are scholarship students. In 2012, Williams and the ensemble performed at a TEDx event; at the countywide Young Talent Big Dreams competition they nabbed a win in the group dance category. Several professional tappers, including Chloe Arnold, Sarah Reich, and Jason Holley, have taught master classes at TAYB.
Through history’s lens
The studio’s curriculum is designed around a framework that incorporates the history of music, art, and dance. Each year all classes explore influences from a certain time period. Last season’s focus was the 1900s through the 1950s: in ballet class, students read about dancers like Margot Fonteyn and choreographer Michel Fokine and watched films of ballets such as Les Sylphides and The Prodigal Son. Tappers studied jazz of the period, from the ragtime of Scott Joplin to the swing of Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, and other legends.
“Studying dance history and music history always resonated more with me than studying dates and wars and emperors,” Wiesen says. “I decided to take that holistic approach with our students, to show them how art has reflected what has happened in the world, and how world events have affected art.”
Students recently finished their study of the period from the 1950s to the present. Deshauters enlightened her dancers on Alvin Ailey and his most famous piece, Revelations, while Williams challenged students to watch footage of famous tap dancers and try to re-create some of their steps. Other classes listened to Motown music and read books on Martin Luther King Jr. and segregation.
Students have also completed art projects: collages inspired by the study of Matisse, flowered headpieces influenced by Frida Kahlo, and murals in the style of iconic 1980s artist Keith Haring, to name a few.
“They learn about history and the world through dance,” Williams says. “And since all the teachers follow the same curriculum for technique and history, a student who switches classes won’t be confused or study something radically different from what they are used to. It makes the studio more cohesive.”
Ballet and tap work together onstage as well as in the curriculum. For the past two years, TAYB has collaborated in performances with the Greater Miami Youth Symphony, a community-based orchestra program that provides students ages 5 to 18 with professional training and performance experience. In 2012, two ballet dancers and two tap dancers presented a piece to “Summer” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
“Seeing the ballet dancers perform their steps and then the tappers perform their steps to the same music shows the diversity of movement and music interpretation,” Deshauters says. “It’s good for the kids to see that there is more than one way to interpret music, and anyone can do it. You don’t have to label yourself as a tap dancer or ballet dancer. Even though a piece of music sounds a certain way, you can dance to it however you want.”
Last year, a rendition of the Benny Goodman classic “Sing, Sing, Sing” combined ballet, tap, jazz, and modern (offered only to older, advanced students). All of the performers were Tap Team members, whose versatility Williams attributes to their strong cross-training.
“People think tappers can only dance fast and staccato, and ballet can only be allegro or adagio,” Wiesen says. “They’re surprised to learn otherwise. The dancers and the musicians have a real connection. They all work as a team.”
It’s a team effort that keeps TAYB’s award-winning programs running year after year for more than 1,100 students in five locations.
“We do our very best to help kids all around,” Williams says. “Whatever it takes to get kids to class, we’ll do it.”
“I’ve always felt that tap would be a good partner with ballet,” Wiesen says. “They enhance each other. And my students benefit from a more well-rounded dance education.”
Scholarships + Outreach = Success
TAYB’s Tap Team could not exist without the aid of the studio’s scholarship program, which owner Ruth Wiesen, then a relatively new instructor, founded in 1988 as a way to help more students access Miami’s magnet programs in the arts. Funded largely by The Children’s Trust, a property tax–driven funding source that serves the children of Miami-Dade County, the scholarships ensure high-quality dance training for nearly 600 students from low-income families, who are charged only an annual fee of $10. The dancers also receive leotards, tights, and dance shoes.
“Quality classical dance training is not within reach for a majority of children in our community,” Wiesen says. “Classes are expensive, and the schools are located in the most advantaged areas of the community.”
Along with their dance education, TAYB scholarship students receive assistance through The Children’s Trust with issues that affect them and their families and their success beyond the classroom, including tutoring, medical and dental care, lunch money, legal fees, bus fare, and audition coaching for middle and high school arts programs. TAYB also serves as a conduit to agencies that can intervene in situations such as immigration, domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, and sexual identity crises. The program once helped seek housing for a family whose home was condemned and demolished following extensive damage from Hurricane Irene.
Initially the scholarships helped only kids who lived close to the studio; with working parents or no family vehicle, many students could not attend until they were old enough to take public transportation. If the kids couldn’t come to the studio, Wiesen reasoned, the studio had to go to them. In 2000, she approached the principal of Morningside Elementary School in the neighborhood of Little Haiti, whom she knew to be an arts enthusiast, and learned that there was an unused classroom. It became the program’s first outreach site, the fourth and most recent of which opened at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreation Complex in Miami Gardens in 2011. TAYB pays no rent for these sites and provides the same teachers and curriculums as at the main studio.
“The long-term goal of the program is to ensure a college education for all students by laying a foundation of a strong work ethic, social skills, discipline, consistency, focus, and the ability to delay gratification,” says Wiesen.
All scholarship students graduate from high school: 98 percent of them attend college, while 2 percent pursue professional dance careers, according to Wiesen. In 2013, one graduating high school senior was admitted to The Juilliard School. Alumni of the scholarship program include Robert Battle, artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and several current and former members of Martha Graham Dance Company.
The New York City Ballet, which was forced by financial pressure to limit its Saratoga Performing Arts Center residency in Saratoga Springs, New York, to one week last summer and this year, will return for two weeks in 2015, SPAC management announced.
The Albany Times-Union said the ballet’s residency dates this year are July 8 to 12.
Marcia White, SPAC’s president and executive director, said last week that factors affecting the decision included cost savings realized by two summers of one-week residencies, renegotiated contracts between NYCB and its labor unions, and renewed fundraising efforts.
The ballet costs SPAC slightly more than $1 million per week to produce, of which 40 percent is covered by ticket sales; the rest must be made up by fundraising. Ballet attendance averaged 2,770 per performance last summer, White said, up 10 percent from 2012.
To see the original story, visit http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/A-two-week-residency-for-2015-5559903.php.
The 4th International Istanbul Ballet Competition and Festival, organized to highlight Turkey’s artistic identity, kicks off June 21 at the Zorlu Center PSM with the ballet Count Dracula.
State Opera and Ballet general director Professor Rengim Gökmen, speaking to Anadolu Agency, said he gave great importance to the competition, adding, “I believe this competition makes great contributions to Turkish ballet in terms of opening it to the world. As of June 21, Istanbul will be the place where the heart of world ballet will beat.” The festival ends June 26 with a gala and award ceremony, according to The Hurriyet Daily News.
Gökmen noted that the competition gained the status of being a festival this year and important ballet pieces would be staged. “We want to draw the ballet world’s attention and promote the art of Turkish ballet because this is what we can boast about. Our wish is to use the techniques the world uses,” he said.
Ballet in Turkey began with Russian instructor Lydia Krassa Arzumanova, who opened a ballet studio in Istanbul in 1921. Dame Ninette de Valois, the founder of The Royal Ballet, was invited to Turkey in 1947 for the foundation of Turkish ballet, and in 1948, enrolled 11 male and 18 female students in an Istanbul ballet school.
Later, de Valois sent her assistant Alaine Phillips to Turkey. Phillips reorganized the choreography of Lev Ivanov and Enrico Cecchetti and staged Léo Delibes’ ballet Coppélia in 1961. This was the first ballet performed by Turkish ballet dancers.
To see the original story, visit http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ballet-stars-to-compete-in-istanbul.aspx?pageID=238&nID=67962&NewsCatID=384.
The first round of the 2014 USA International Ballet Competition, now underway in Jackson, Mississippi, concluded with 54 competitors advancing to Round II.
Competitors at the every-four-year international competition hail from Australia, South Africa, Korea, Mongolia, Russia, Brazil, Japan, China, Chile, Cuba, Portugal, Mexico, and elsewhere.
Semi-finalists from the USA advancing to Round II include Steven Loch, senior male; Melissa Gelfin, senior female; Aran Bell and Blake Kessler, junior males; and Gabrielle Chock, Gisele Bethea, Katherine Barkman, Mackenzie Richter, Olivia Gusti, and Victoria Wong, junior females.
Round II begins June 20 at 7:30pm at Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson, with sessions two and three on Saturday and Sunday evenings. The two-week competition concludes June 29.
The USA IBC is a two-week, “Olympic-style” competition where dancers vie for gold, silver, and bronze medals, cash awards, company contracts, and scholarships. For more information, visit www.usaibc.com or www.facebook.com/usaibc.
The Russian-born composer, conductor, and pianist Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971) remains, more than four decades after his death, a towering figure in 20th-century music. If he had written the music for only one of the three ballets for which he is best known—The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911) and The Rite of Spring (1913)—he would still be celebrated today
LIFE.com paid tribute to Stravinsky this week on his birthday (b. June 17, 1882, in Lomonosov, Russia) through photos made in 1972 by Gjon Mili that capture New York City Ballet dancers during the company’s Stravinsky Festival, which featured ballets by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins inspired by Stravinsky’s music.
In 1972, LIFE magazine wrote: “This tribute to Stravinsky, who died a year ago, was also a triumph for Balanchine, whose mastery of the dance is undiminished at 68. He personally created eight of the new ballets and collaborated with Jerome Robbins on another. ‘The important thing in ballet,’ Balanchine says, ‘is movement itself,’ a thought that photographer Gjon Mili vividly expresses in his photographs.”
To view a series of 15 photos, visit http://life.time.com/culture/gorgeous-color-photos-of-stravinsky-inspired-ballets/#1.